Johnny Mercer was one of the most prolific songwriters of 20th Century America. During his decades long career he wrote the lyrics for such memorable songs as “Moon River”, “Blues In the Night”, “Hooray For Hollywood”, “Laura”, “Something’s Gotta Give”. The list Mercer’s hits goes on and on. He was nominated for 18 Academy Awards and wrote songs for Broadway too. If that wasn’t enough, he was also one of the founders of Capitol Records. Tonight on Inquiry we chat with ROBERT KIMBALL, writer, music critic of the New York Post and Editor of the Complete Lyrics series of books. The latest monumental volume in that wonderful series is THE COMPLETE LYRICS OF JOHNNY MERCER. Tune in and find out who dubbed Lauren Bacall’s singing voice in “To have and To Have Not”. The answer will surprise you.
She looked like a “tiny, troubled wisp of a human being” as she stepped up to the mike, but when she opened up her mouth, out came “an atom bomb voice”. This is how JIMMY McDONAUGH , writer, autobiographer and tonight’s guest on Inquiry, describes Tammy Wynette. She sang before five presidents, had twenty #1 hits and five husbands, and is loved fiercely by her fans. Tammy was one of the great country music stars of the 20th Century, with hits like “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad”, “Stand By Your Man”, and “Apartment #9”. Yet as her success mounted, her health crumbled until her untimely death. McDonough has talked with many of the people involved in her life, her producers, her friends and exes, and has created a monumental, wild yet still moving, biography. His book is titled: TAMMY WYNETTE: TRAGIC COUNTRY QUEEN.
Inquiry welcomes back artist and teacher ROSEMARY LeBEAU. Rose’s work includes unique hand painted transferred photography, glass etching, book making and large complexly beautiful assemblages of found objects. After decades of creating work, in 2009 she had her first retrospective at her house, and that exhibition garnered many critical raves. Tune in and listen to one of the most unique artists in New England talk about her amazingly varied work.
“Zugunruhe” is a term for migratory restlessness, the nervous behavior exhibited by birds just before they take off for a long migration. “Zugunruhe” is also the name of artist RACHEL BERWICK’s latest installation piece at the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University, Providence Rhode Island. (November 14-February 14, 2010). Berwick’s work “has focused our attention on human interactions with and understandings of the natural world”. Many of her pieces focus on rare or extinct species like Passenger Pigeons, Tasmanian Tigers and Coelacanths. Tune in tonight and find out about her uniquely fascinating and beautiful work that combines natural history with sculpture and installation, and ultimately examines some of our longest held beliefs about nature. Rachel Berwick's website: http://www.rachelberwick.com/
The Supremes have been called the second-most important American music act after Elvis. Though they had a string of Number 1 hits, they were never nominated for a Grammy. And though there have been several autobiographies written by group members, up till now there has never been a thorough biography written by an outsider of the Supremes and their long struggle at Motown Records. Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome noted rock historian MARK RIBOWSKY who tells the real story of the three teenagers who met in the Detroit projects, started out as The Primettes and went on to become headlining stars as The Supremes at the Copacabana. It’s a gritty story of jealousy, greed and the drive to succeed against all odds. This is also the story of one of the greatest songwriting teams America has ever known: Holland-Dozier-Holland. Tune in tonight as we relive those crazy, heady days of “Hitsville USA”. Ribowsky’s monumental book is titled: THE SUPREMES: A SAGA OF MOTOWN DREAMS, SUCCESS AND BETRAYAL.
Bruce Gaultney, publisher, and Leah Lamson, incoming executive editor of the Telegram & Gazette.
WE'LL TALK ABOUT: The death and life of America’s newspapers.
On tonight’s Inquiry, our guest is award winning writer, designer and novelist CHIP KIDD. In the 1960s, renown Japanese manga artist Jiro Kuwata turned out an amazing series of Batman comic stories, that until very recently were only known in Japan. Kidd has lovingly reproduced a set of these comics in a state of the art volume titled BAT MANGA that also includes some photographs of the distinctly Japanese merchandise that was sold at the time. Tune in and find out what the Japanese thought of this American superhero and what kind of unique villains the Japanese Batman fought. On-line, we also talk about Kidd’s latest novel THE LEARNERS, which begins, with the quote: “An idea ahead of its time, no matter what it is, is not a good idea.”
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